Summer 2019 Season


Book now


Saturday 25th May, 8.00 pm. Vice, cert 15

USA 2018, 132 minutes, 15 certificate
Directed by Adam McKay, Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carrell, Sam Rockwell

McKay’s last film, The Big Short, told the story of a group of traders and investors who set out to cash in, big-time, on the impending subprime meltdown that triggered a global financial crisis. Vice, which reunites the director with Bale and Carrell, is another acerbic satire similarly preoccupied with individuals capable of the ruthless pursuit of a goal, apparently untroubled by principle or morals or much in the way of fellow-feeling. The game is all. And here, his focus moves from Wall Street to Washington, and the career of Dick Cheney, a power broker par excellence who ended up at the right hand of George W Bush – or perhaps, as the film would have it, as the puppet master who wields the real and terrifying power behind the presidency, engineering among other things the invasion of Iraq post 9/11.

The film tells of Dick’s beginnings as a beer swilling Yale drop out who, following a tongue lashing from his formidable girlfriend, Lynne (Amy Adams – who is awesome in this role), decides to make something of himself, securing a position as an intern in the Nixon White House under the tutelage of Donald Rumsfeld (Carrell). He eventually eclipses the power and influence of his erstwhile mentor to become White House Chief of Staff and then Secretary of Defence under Bush senior, with a brief detour to make some megabucks as CEO of an oil multinational while the Democrats were in, before rejoining politics as George W’s running mate – very much on his own terms.

This is a bleakly funny, slightly wacky, and frankly disturbing portrayal of ruthlessness, of late twentieth century Republican politics, and of the shadowy and secretive accumulation of power behind the throne. A hugely enjoyable ride, with outstanding performances from a scarcely recognisable Bale as the corpulant softly spoken Cheney, Adams as the flinty and equally ruthless Lynne, and positively gleeful support from Carrell and Rockwell.

Saturday 1st June, 8.00 pm. If Beale Street Could Talk, cert 1